A report from the nonprofit Latino Donor Collaborative found that the total Gross Domestic Product of Latinos in the U.S. rose to $2.6 trillion in 2018, up from $2.3 trillion in 2017.

The 2020 LDC U.S. Latino GDP Report is the latest in a series of annual reports that began in 2017, seeking to quantify the economic contribution of the U.S. Latino population. It was authored by Matthew Fienup and Dan Hamilton from California Lutheran University’s Center for Economic Research and Forecasting in Thousand Oaks, and David Hayes-Bautista and Paul Hsu of UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine in Los Angeles.

If measured against independent countries, the $300 billion rise in GDP maintains the U.S. Latino population’s standing as the eighth largest GDP in the world. It outranks Italy, Brazil and South Korea.
The report notes Latino GDP is impressive not just for its size, but growth.

“Among the world’s 10 largest GDPs in 2018, the Latino GDP was the single fastest growing. Latino real GDP grew 22 percent faster than India’s and 31 percent faster than China’s,” it stated.

That contributes in a massive way to the growth of the broader U.S. economy, making Latino laborers and business owners a crucial factor for the U.S. to overcome a forthcoming labor shortage resulting from the retirement of the baby boomer generation, the report said.Though the report is based on economic data from 2018, the authors include an analysis of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the national economy as well as the Latino population’s role in powering the country through the crisis.

“Many workers from the world’s eighth largest economy are essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic – in construction, transportation, food, health care and other industries. These essential workers have kept the economy functioning,” the report said. “As we contemplate the years ahead and chart a path to recovery from the pandemic and the most severe economic downturn in the U.S. since World War II, Latinos will be a driver of recovery.”